Obligations for large resource projects
A large resource project is a resource project for which an environmental impact statement (EIS) is required, or an existing project that holds a site-specific environmental authority and has 100 or more workers or a smaller workforce decided by the Coordinator-General.
For the legal definition of a large resource project, please refer to the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017.
A list of large resource projects and their nearby regional communities that will be affected by the 100% fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) prohibition and anti-discrimination provisions of the SSRC Act is now available, as decided by the Coordinator-General.
A nearby regional community is one within 125 kilometres of a large resource project and that has more than 200 people, or a greater or lesser distance or smaller population decided by the Coordinator-General.
Large resource projects on the list must meet certain obligations under the SSRC Act, by ensuring:
- their workforce is not 100% FIFO and that locals are given fair employment opportunities during the operational phase of projects
- local residents are not discriminated against during recruitment
- future projects identify and manage social impacts on people and communities.
Under the SSRC Act, large resource projects are prohibited from having a 100% FIFO workforce during their operational phase.
Projects published on the list of large resource projects will have six months from the date of their inclusion and publication on the list to comply with the prohibition on 100% FIFO workforce arrangements and transition to a workforce that includes local residents from the nearby regional communities.
When recruiting workers for a large resource project, advertising of positions must not be done in a way that prohibits residents of the nearby regional community from applying.
All projects and communities on the list of large resource projects are subject to anti-discrimination provisions in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and the SSRC Act. These provisions make it an offence for large resource projects to discriminate against locals in the future recruitment of workers. In addition, if a FIFO worker wants to move to a nearby regional community, they are allowed to do so.
A person who feels they have been discriminated against during the recruitment or termination process because they are a resident of a nearby regional community, can lodge a complaint with the Queensland Human Rights Commission.
Social impact assessment
The SSRC Act requires new large resource projects, subject to a future EIS to complete a mandatory social impact assessment (SIA).
SIA is a process for the identification, analysis, assessment, management and monitoring of the social impacts of a project, both positive and negative.
The social impacts of a project are the direct and indirect impacts that affect people and their communities during all stages of the project lifecycle.
The SIA must cover:
- community and stakeholder management
- workforce management
- housing and accommodation
- local business and industry procurement
- health and community wellbeing.
The workforce management part of the SIA must provide for prioritised recruitment from local and regional communities first, then recruitment of workers who will live in regional communities.
The Coordinator-General can set conditions to manage the social impacts of resource projects in the EIS evaluation (for EISs under both the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 and Environmental Protection Act 1994).
Read more about the process in the SIA Guideline. (800 KB)
Read more about the Act, and what it means for existing, large resource projects:
Last updated: 21 Oct 2021